Monday, February 27, 2012

Italy, Day 5: Rome, Part 1 of 3

I met with several friends in the morning when I got back to Rome from Milan. We headed straight to the Vatican by metro. There was a debate about spending 15 euros on the guided tour, but the 5 euro audio guide was a religious tour (and I'm Protestant, not Catholic). Three of us decided to go for the guided tour that was more about the history of St. Peter's Basilica. I don't regret it, and I recommend that everyone visiting the Vatican take the guided tour. The church is amazing, with so much history!

This was my first view inside the Vatican. 

Not a long line when it's close to snowing outside. 

The outside of St. Peter's, I believe. 

Just outside St. Peter's Basilica. 

Just one of the amazing ceilings. 
It is mind blowing how much detail is put into each and every inch of the church. 

Pilgrims to the church come to touch the cross. The black mark on the bottom is from the thousands of hands that have stroked the gold embossed cross. 

This is one of the saints. His tomb was opened and they discovered that he was perfectly preserved. 
This is an actual body and his face looks like porcelain. 

The piece below the giant dome to help the space feel less empty. 

The lettering around the bottom of the dome is over two meters tall (over 6 feet). 
This dome is one meter larger in diameter than the Pantheon's dome. 

A nativity scene still on display from Christmas. 

Sculptures of angels were not usually given masculine or feminine form, although the one on the left here looks slightly more feminine while the one to the right more masculine. 
The tour guide was trying to duck out of the way when i took this, but I still snapped the picture. 

Outside the Basilica, looking onto the courtyard. 
Yes, it was cold!

The Vatican was my favorite part of my entire time in Rome. Coming soon is our exploration of the many museums and buildings inside the Vatican, including the Sistina Capella!

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